5 conversations to have with your child before your next camping trip

Racing around the campground with brand new friends. Building sandcastles on the beach. Roasting marshmallows over the campfire.

Some of our best childhood memories are made in parks.

Before you pack your little ones into the car for your next family vacation, here are five conversations to make sure your trip is as safe as it is fun!

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Darlington’s daring wetland restoration

In today’s post, Zone Ecologist Corina Brdar shares the exciting restoration story that’s been unfolding at Darlington Provincial Park.

There’s nothing like seeing an idea turn into reality, is there?

Especially when the idea is an enormous one, and it takes tons of cooperation from all kinds of players.

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How will I know ecological integrity when I see it?

Preserving ecological integrity is a priority for all of us here at Ontario Parks. But just what does ecological integrity look like? Algonquin Provincial Park Naturalist David LeGros explains…

When I start many of my evening programs at Algonquin, I often ask the audience if they like nature.

Usually I get a lot of hands up in the air, but there are always a few that don’t put their hands up. I tell those people, “You might be in the wrong place, because Algonquin is crawling with nature.” I know these folks may have not been paying attention to what I was saying or chose not to participate in my survey, but it always gets a laugh from the crowd.

However, this did get me thinking about why we go to parks over staying home or visiting a big city…

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What do park staff DO all winter?

In today’s post, Assistant Superintendent Josie Grenier and other southeast zone staff give us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what our crews are up to during the winter months.

There’s a false assumption out there that Ontario Parks goes into hibernation in the winter, just like bears, but we are by no means just a summer experience.

Field staff are often asked, “What do you guys do in the winter or when you’re closed?”

Where can we even begin to answer this question!?

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A trip down the Pakeshkag River at Grundy Lake Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Sonje Bols, a naturalist at Grundy Lake Provincial Park.

Part of a park naturalist’s job is to familiarize themselves with the natural and cultural wonders of their park through exploration.

Whether it’s tramping through bogs to catch and identify dragonflies, flipping rocks to look for snakes, or canoeing along ancient Indigenous canoe routes, naturalists set out to observe and explore every inch of their parks so they can bring that knowledge and experience to park visitors and managers.

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5 questions with A/Assistant Deputy Minister of Land and Water Division

Welcome to our “5 Questions” series! We chat with park staff around the province to give you an inside look at what it’s like to work at Ontario Parks.

Acting Assistant Deputy Minister Bruce Bateman began his career at Bon Echo in the summer of 1978. He’s worked his way up from the gatehouse to the ADM’s office, with stops as park superintendent, zone manager and director along the way.

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5 things I love about being a Discovery Guide

Today’s post comes from Madeline McNabb, a 2017 Discovery Guide at White Lake Provincial Park

We all dream of turning our passion into a job.

My chance came this past summer when I worked at White Lake Provincial Park as a Discovery Guide.

The Discovery Program is a new program focusing on inspiring curiosity in park visitors and encouraging exploration of our natural environment. I made so many amazing memories this past summer. There are too many wonderful things I want to share!

After much deliberation, I have narrowed it down to five top reasons why I loved being a Discovery Guide:

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What goes into closing a park for the winter?

While 26 provincial parks remain open for the winter, the rest hibernate until spring.

But closing a park isn’t as simple as just locking the gates. Our staff put a lot of elbow grease into prepping each park for the winter.

Here are just a few of the tasks we do each fall:

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Congratulations to our 2018 Ontario Parks Partners Bursary recipients!

The summer student workforce is the life-blood of the Ontario Parks summer operating season. Our provincial parks simply could not operate without our student workers.

Today, Minister Rod Phillips, local MPPs, park staff, corporate partners and — of course — our wonderful students gathered in Peterborough to award the 2018 Ontario Parks Partners Bursaries.

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